Understanding God’s Purpose
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Sometimes in life, “Thy will be done” can be the most difficult of any words to pray. The other petitions in the Lord’s Prayer glide easily from our lips. Acknowledging God as our good and loving Father through Jesus, asking for His peace, presence, and forgiveness, requesting protection from temptation and deliverance from evil, and asking Him to meet our daily physical needs are simple and somehow “safe.” Does it somehow feel dangerous to pray “Thy will be done” and mean what you say?
Feeling safe in whatever God might or might not “will” to happen is only the first challenge in this part of the Lord’s Prayer. Another problem comes in trying to discover what “the will of God” means and what possible impact my (somewhat measly) prayer can possibly have.
Isn’t it assumed that the LORD—God Almighty, Jehovah, does whatever He wills—with or without the prayer of mere mortals like us?
On Earth. . .
It’s only when you understand that God’s intentions toward you are loving, that you can trust His will in your life on earth. Remember, the Lord’s Prayer begins with the words, “Our Father.” You come to God in prayer as His child, freely forgiven for all your sins through Jesus. You can trust His heart!
(Jesus said) “What man is there of you, who, if his son shall ask him for a loaf, will give him a stone; or if he shall ask for a fish, will give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”[i]
You can’t know every detail about what God has in mind for you while you live here on earth. That is just one of the amazing things about His love for us—He has given us the freedom to make choices. But what you can know about God’s will is that He wants us to live lives that show love for Him and for each other.
The things that prevent us from living as God’s children are what we pray about when we ask for God’s will to be done in our lives. We ask our Father to hold us firmly and safely against Satan’s attacks, the evil in the world, and against our own selfish desires. We pray for God’s protection and defense.
As It Is In Heaven. . .
God’s will is done without your prayer, but Jesus teaches us to pray for His will to be done here on earth as it is in heaven. God’s will in heaven is carried out in joy and peace. In heaven, there is only light. No darkness. No sin. No death or destruction. No war. No tears. No pain or torn relationships.
In heaven, you will know God completely, just like He knows you now. His perfect will is to see you at home, in heaven. He sent Jesus to die in your place make that possible. His will was accomplished for you in Christ!
In the meantime, between the time God called you as His child and the time He calls you home to Him, Jesus encourages you to pray for God’s will to be done here and now.
Come, Almighty, to deliver;
Let us all Thy life receive.
Suddenly return, and never,
Nevermore Thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
Serve Thee as Thy hosts above,
Pray and praise Thee without ceasing,
Glory in Thy perfect love.[ii]